CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, said on Tuesday that she will never mention the name of the author of the Christchurch mosques massacre, which caused at least 50 deaths and left 50 people injured, to deprive him of the notoriety he was looking for.
“You will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist, but he will, when I speak, be nameless,” Ardern said in an emotional speech at the parliament in Wellington.
“And to others, I implore you, speak the names of those who are lost, rather than the name of the man who took them,” the prime minister suggested in the chamber, where she also remembered some of the victims, such as Haji-Daoud Nabi, a 71-year-old Afghan man who opened the door of the Al Noor mosque to the shooter and whose last words were “Hello brother, welcome.”
“He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing, not even his name,” Ardern said, adding that the perpetrator of the attack on two mosques in Christchurch will have to face more charges and will be punished by “the full force of the law” in New Zealand.
Australian Brenton Tarrant, aged 28, who police considers to be solely responsible for the attack, will remain in custody, which was imposed on March 16 when he was charged with murder, until he appears before the judge on April 5.
The assailant resided in Dunedin, about 400 kilometers south of Christchurch, where he used semi-automatic weapons to attack hundreds of people who had flocked to the Al Noor and Linwood mosques for their usual Friday prayers on March 15.
The terrorist filmed his actions for 17 minutes and published a long manifesto of more than 70 pages, justifying his extreme right-wing ideology and hatred of Muslims, which together with the video were published on social networks.
Ardern stressed that the doors of her country will remain open as always for anyone who respects the values of tolerance and “must close on all of those who espouse hate and fear.”
In her speech, the New Zealand prime minister confirmed that the actions of the security agencies prior to the events will be reviewed, gun laws will be reformed and the role of social networks will be analyzed, while at the same time support will be given to the families of the deceased.